W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > July 2005

Re: [CSS21] properties for table-column (In HTML: COL) & table-column-group (In HTML: COLGROUP) items.

From: David Woolley <david@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
Date: Sat, 2 Jul 2005 09:50:15 +0100 (BST)
Message-Id: <200507020850.j628oFB04861@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
To: www-style@w3.org

> people's inclination for self-destructive behavior. One thing that you
> learn pretty quickly in usability classes is that users will ask for
> things they don't really want and things that will ultimately harm

You meant "need" not "want".

> them. I don't write copy, I don't design graphics. Why? Because I

One thing want learns in (elementary) marketing classes is that 
sales are based on satisfying wants, not needs.  People with marketing
budgets don't want informed customers, they want "cool" web sites
with lots of flashy gimmicks, and to establish an instantly visible
brand image that is completely different from their competitors.

I'm actually in rather in the useit.com camp, as far as web site consumers
(users in the normal terminology) are concerned, but that makes me more of
an HTML person than a CSS person.  A lot of people posting to this list
(probably more casual posters than stalwarts) complain than useit.com is
too bland (sometimes confusing his site, which is a one man site with what
he is preaching) and that Nielsen is telling them not to do their job.
There is at least one WAI (Accessibility) contributor who also takes this
view, but I suspect that is because he know where his money comes from.

Traditionally Adobe products have addressed the advertising market,
and web pages are largely advertising (even bought in intranet applications
have a self advertising element) and SVG also does that.  Netscape tried,
and largely succeeded, in hijacking HTML into that market.

Like most 20th and 21st century advertising, most web advertising isn't
about informing the customer but about establishing a proxy market in
which the customer pays for the real product but buys based on the
commercial art, viewed as art.  Also, styling can convey messages that
could be challenged if made explicitly in print.

What CSS is attempting to do is to provide people with some real content
to present with the ability to meet the marketing requirement that
the site sell as art, or establish a strong brand image, by means other
than using HTML purely to control visual rendering.  It only really exists
because the people who commission web sites want them to be works of visual
art, with fonts, colours, etc.

Unfortunately, whilst markets work better than planned economies, they
don't necessarily produce what is good for the consumers, only what those
with buying power want.

(Personally, I find commercial sites largely vary between the completely
unusable and the just about navigable but useless because there is 
inadequate information about the product to make an informed buying

Note that I've largely talked about commercial internet web sites
here, as, in talking about your five areas, that what you seem to have
been talking about.  Web applications, are a little different, in that
whilst they still strive to brand and entertain (there are relatively
few really new applications, so products have to sell on entertainment
value) they also often strive to behave like thick client applications,
running on the native OS.
Received on Saturday, 2 July 2005 21:46:25 UTC

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